How Did People Have Children Before The Welfare State?


A fairly silly thing being said here by Philip Inman:

Not enough babies? Not enough state support for families
Phillip Inman

That really is a silly thing to say:

When governments withdraw from child-friendly policies, their citizens are, unsurprisingly, more reluctant to procreate

Social support – the welfare state that is – has rather increased over the past century or so. Family size has decreased over the past century or so. Reality seems to disagree with Mr Inman but then with Mr. Inman that’s no great surprise.

And as every economist has been pointing out over much of that century. The traditional human set up has been that the family is that welfare state. Children being the pension that will take care of us in our dotage. As alternative mechanisms arise – say, paying tax instead of wiping snotty bottoms for 30 years – then some goodly portion of humans choose that alternative.

Seriously, it’s fine to have a vision of a better world that could be achieved but a basic knowledge of the one we’ve got is a helpful starting point.

Leave a Reply

Notify of